Throwback Thursday #3: another failed "end of snow" climate prediction

We are all familiar with the most famous of all snow predictions, which sets the gold standard for failure, that of Dr. David Viner:

From the article:

Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community. Average temperatures in Britain were nearly 0.6°C higher in the Nineties than in 1960-90, and it is estimated that they will increase by 0.2C every decade over the coming century. Eight of the 10 hottest years on record occurred in the Nineties.

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

It didn’t take long for him to be disproven:


From January 8, 2010 All of Britain covered by snow

Here is another one:

“Winters with strong frost and lots of snow like we had 20 years ago will cease to exist at our latitudes.”

Mojib Latif, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, 1 April 2000

Yes, Germany is not immune either:

Berlin Sets 100-Year March Snow Record…

118 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday #3: another failed "end of snow" climate prediction

    • Please let that be the eastern north Atlantic. I live in the Boston area. I KNOW what snow is.

      • I have a hard time seeing what is snow, and what is [clouds], in that photo.
        I can’t imagine a snow covered Britain with no clouds in the sky.
        [Most of the clods are back over in Washington. Or New York and Boulder, CO. .mod]

      • There was a blocking high sitting just to the west, producing clear skies over Britain and no wind. Clear skies are a very rare even in summer, but are seen from time to time in winter, particularly when there are blocking highs to the west. You can tell by the very crisp and defined outline of Britain how snow had blanketed the entire country (although to me the picture shows a little cloud lying over the South West (Kent) area.
        I remember checking the wind output on a daily basis and for a period of just over 3 weeks there was just one day when wind produced 8% of nameplate capacity and the output was typically 1 to 3% of nameplate capacity. No figures were given for how much power was actually being consumed by the windfarms in de-icing and keeping the rotors slowly turning but I guess that in these conditions, the windfarms were a net drain on the grid.
        There would have been many more premature winter deaths had the UK been reliant on wind energy to meet say 30 to 40% of its energy needs as is a target under the Climate Change Act.

      • I never lived in Great Britain, but I lived in Moscow. When we had a cold front come in we had snowfall and snow would cover everything for hundreds of km (I can’t say it covered all of Russia because it’s a very large country). Right after the snow, we had clear blue skies for a day, maybe two days, with bitter cold. Then the clouds would come back and temperature would go up to the typical minus three, minus four degrees C. It’s definitely no good for solar panels, but I think we had 7-8 days of clear skies in winter, and it was always after heavy snow.

      • @george
        Hmmm, maybe it’s your monitor. Unless they’ve changed the image it seems very clear to me. Scotland in the upper right, Wales in the lower left, with the green bit at the far lower left peaking out from under the clouds being Ireland, yep it’s Great Britain alright.

      • Well without u critiquing my work, (mod), I could be having a banner day.
        Izzat Longyland I can see peering out from under the clods, lower left ??

    • Please no. I still can’t get a roofer to come fix my house roof after the monster storms this past winter in Boston.

      • The insurance companies in MAss still processing claims for ice dam damages to houses during this winter.

      • Insurance is one of those things that is often illegal when called by other names like “gambling” or “betting pool.” The problem is that when the long-odds events gang up, like they sometimes do, the house takes it in the shorts. Knowing the few insurance people I do, can’t really feel a lot of sympathy.

    • Cold North Atlantic means low pressure dominating giving mainly west to southwest winds and this most certainly means no cold West European winter like 2009/2010 , which had the + 1.2 C anomaly in North Atlantich SST , resulting in high pressure northwest of the British Isles and lows on a southerly path giving easterly winds with cold and snow.

    • Joel,
      In the chart posted, the SST go low in late 2009 followed by snow in Scotland and all of Britain by the second week of January 2010. A few weeks later (from the chart) SST go high. What happened then? Pictures?
      I fail to see how this chart offers much certaintity about this coming winter, still 4 or 5 months out.

    • Now there is a nice 8-year sine wave. And the next minima will be 2018.
      So what would cause an 8-year oscillation in N Atlantic SST?

    • You can’t trick us Aussies.
      We know it’s the hottest year evvvaaahhhh.
      We read it in the paper and heard it from our national broadcaster.

      • I’ll bet my lefty you didn’t know this “toorightmate”.
        Tuesday at Cabrarmurra, Australia’s highest township, recorded it’s lowest August minimum ever! (-6.1 lowered to -6.8)
        That is a substantial record bust.
        No announcement, nothing.
        Just an adjustment of the new lowest temperature for the month of August.
        Why did I not see that all over the Australian media?
        What I did get is saturation reports of a record heat wave in China!

      • I remember those -7C morning frosts of the 70’s in my Aussie town of St. Andrews, but thankfully, we don’t live in Europe or Alaska. I remember snow falling in Frankston in the late 80’s. I was on the bike going to work and decided to get off the roads real quick, knowing how people unaccustomed to driving in snow would react.

      • I remember it snowing in Frankston too. it was 1986 and the coldest outbreak I have seen in this part of the world. I lived in Dromana then and the temperature at sea level was about one degree in the morning when I got up. I thought it must have been a clear still night, but no it was windy and as a big cloud approached Arthurs Seat I thought, yep it’s gonna snow! Sure enough it did and came down quite heavily for a while. It snowed in Frankston where I was working at the time at around midday, the temperature still being around three degrees. I’ve never seen it snow since here.

      • DJ
        Spot on.
        Auto – resolutely avoiding any mention of sport (played by folk in white . . . .)
        PS – We’re stating the Aussies at Cricket [At home . . .]

  1. Bostonites. You may be in for it. There is still ice in Hudson bay. No buffer left for the “polar vortex”.
    Global warming? Ice-breaker rerouted to Hudson Bay to assist commercial ships rather than doing research on global warming. A Limerick.
    Irony of ironies:
    CCGS Amundsen re-routed to Hudson Bay to help with heavy ice
    Worst ice conditions in 20 years force change of plans to icebreaker research program
    CBC News Posted: Jul 22, 2015 6:56 AM CT
    Instead of the North Baffin Bay
    the Amundsen did turn away.
    “Too much ice in July,
    all our models awry.”
    Must break Ice down in Hudson’s ice bay.
    A carefully planned, 115-day scientific expedition on board the floating research vessel, the CCGS Amundsen, has been derailed as the icebreaker was called to help resupply ships navigate heavy ice in Hudson Bay.

    • All the snow and ice in Hudson bay,not to mention other parts of the world, has been highlighted on the Ice Age Now site many times. Oddly, nothing much has been reported on this site. Wonder why that is? Reminds me of the BBC news site. They don’t seem to mention it either!

      • Reminds me of the BBC news site. They don’t seem to mention it either!

        BBC CBC
        Favorite comment via “Goldminor Sanchez”.

        @sleddogracer …climate change is now being called climate change? And it has taken many hundreds of billions of dollars for climate scientists to tell us that climate change means climate change. The taxpayers of the Western world should ask for a refund for the almost 1 trillion dollars now mostly wasted in the name of catastrophic climate change. Afterall, the real term is catastrophic climate change. The climate scientists are talking about catastrophic climate change. They like to leave out the catastrophic part to confuse the average person.

      • A few days ago there was a programme on UK TV documenting the search for the missing Franklin ships on his voyage through the North West passage in 1845/7. The search was in 2014, and the team of scientist on the ice strengthened search vessel commented on the ice conditions in the North west passage saying that it was heavy and probably very similar to that encountered by Franklin back in 1845/7!
        I thought that it was strange that that remark was aired on MSM when we are led to believe that the Arctic is in a death spiral with summer ice soon to be a thing of the past. Children and Polar Bears just won’t know what pack ice is!
        The programme was not on the BBC, had it been so, I am sure that the remark would have found its way to the floor of the edit room!

    • It might be wise to invest in companies who build or operate icebreakers and snowcats. they may become vital to commerce in decades ahead.

    • >>Bostonites. You may be in for it.<<
      I hope you're wrong about that. I live in the sunny southwest but have to travel to the Boston area in early December this year.

  2. Snowed in Jackson Hole WY & Big Sky MT last week …. In the middle if summer. Talk about a failed prediction …

  3. …increased amounts of industrial gases…
    What an odd way to refer to atmospheric gases…it’s as if the writer looked up CO2 in a dictionary and learned that carbon dioxide can be referred to as an industrial gas (there’s a whole business sector called ‘industrial gas’).

  4. Interesting looking at London. There is less snow on the city compared to its surrounds, is this simply a reflection of urban heat or the number of obstacles i.e. Buildings which gives the appearance of less snow due to depth differences of the obstacles? Anybody have an answer on that one?

  5. This was back when AGW was global warming, before the great rebranding to “climate change” campaign by the climate con-artist community.

  6. Being from the Northeast and not into Winter sports I was really pulling for Dr. David Viner to be right. Who knew how wrong this guy was capable of being.
    Gypsy fortune tellers probably have a better track record of prediction than Dr. Viner.

  7. There will come a time in the future when children just aren’t going to know what AGW is.

  8. As we see repeatedly, the predictions are disclaimed due to “new discoveries” when they fail and a claim of a new collateral side effect of climate change (which happens to be the current weather extreme) is made. The flock accepts the new explanation and marvels at the scary computer simulations of an industrial future, too confused from the conflicting and constantly changing stories of multiple doom scenarios flaunted by the media to use whatever critical skills they own.

    • Food.
      Lefties have been rewriting history- so truth and freedom is already long gone.
      Science as always will remain for those that seek it.

  9. we need to start selling or giving out summer wear T shirts for 18 year olds with a Josh cartoon and a message to the older generation, “wake up you’ve been gored, it hasn’t warmed in my lifetime” or even better a school competition for the best this generation message.
    Do this before long hot summers are a thing of the past!

  10. When references are posted in public forums regarding such failed predictions, the true believers inevitably respond that the authors were not scientists, or were speaking outside their field of expertise. To put the lie to that pathetic excuse, all the Throwback Thursday articles should include very specific details about the credentials (or absence thereof) of sources such as David Viner and Mojib Latif who were mentioned in this article.
    This would help demonstrate the incompetence and/or dishonesty of the supposedly infallible scientists who are in such a consensus on the terrible dangers of global warming. Even adding such information after the fact would still help.

    • Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia
      Professor. Dr. Mojib Latif, Leading IPCC scientist, is German meteorologist and oceanographer of Pakistani descent. Latif graduated with a Diplom in meteorology in 1983. He took a position as scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in 1985

      • That is funny. Talk about cherry picking. I just looked at your chart in the link. I noticed that you were able to find warming by starting your chart at the peak cooling of the 2012 La Nina. I can see why you called the chart an OOPS. Sad, from all of your pontificating I would have expected more from you or at least to hide it better.

  11. It’s pretty bold to predict the end of snow in the UK considering it still snows in the middle of the summer in the mountains of Scotland every few years. Ive been told this by my Scottish friend but Im not sure if he was pulling my leg.

    • Well, I think that it just goes to show how off-kilter a lot of the alarmists are in their predictions. Even if the sharply warming predictions were true, the result would be a big “meh”. They made up these insane predictions that are just unsupportable with even the most extreme scenarios.

  12. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

    Technically Viner was right. Snow is falling in places where it is so rare that the local kids don’t know what it is.

  13. The warmist media invariably refer to freezing events as a “cold snap” as though these events are some short aberration from their business as usual warming. When the media start referring to these events as blizzard conditions we may be making some headway.

    • To the media “polar vortex” and “mega-blizzard” are buzzwords for side-effects of climate change. Obama has preached that incessantly. Obamascience explains that It gets colder not as it did in the past, but in a new way which we don’t quite understand because humans have changed everything! However, the science is settled and we must eliminate carbon pollution from our new world order so our children can repay the debt this will incur as citizens of a global nation governed by progressive scientific consensus.

      • Yes, as the earth warms up, the cold gets colder and the hot gets hotter so that when they meet we get mega storms. – Obama’s 3rd law of thermageddon.

  14. Looking back to the height of the MWP, there appears to be a pattern of severe and frosty winters In Britain: 1205, 1210, 1234, 1254, 1261, 1271, 1281, 1292, 1306, 1335, 1365 and 1408.
    Got the dates from Ogilvie and Farmer ‘Documenting the Medieval Climate’.
    You will notice the cycle tightens as we plunge into the depths of the Wolf Minimum.

  15. 6 Aug: ABC Australia: Tasmanian photographer tells of iconic image of surfer daughter on snowy Clifton Beach
    8 Aug: Earthweek: Fresh Antarctic Vortex Brings Rare Australian Snow
    The Southern Hemisphere’s current bitter winter brought another blast of Antarctic air to parts of Australia and New Zealand.
    A massive low-pressure area channeled a flow of frigid air from the Antarctic ice shelf northward, causing snow to fall at sea level around Tasmania and mainland Australia for the first time in 10 years…

  16. It 61 deg F in central Indiana now. It is projected to go to 58. This is normally our hottest time of the year. I’m guessing the hottest year on record must be somewhere else.

      • I wish we had a way to give them some of our water, we have too much. I wonder if the money we spent going to Mars would have paid for a National plumbing job.

      • In Washington state the “hot and thirsty” weather has passed. Today’s high in Walla Walla was in the low 80s F. and tonight is predicted to be in the mid 50s F.

  17. After a small adjustment and some cogent analysis from politicians ,bread and butter ‘scientists’ , and such scientific whizzes as Matt Lauer, you will believe you have not seen snow for a dozen years.

    • Speaking of politicians, I didn’t hear any reference to the fallacies of global warming and CO2 in the Republican presidential candidate debates this evening (Aug. 6).

  18. It is mistake to think that because their science is so poor that the whole argument behind CAGW is weak.
    In fact it has some strong points , it has managed to get CAGW to equal the same has climate change , which allowed to it claim any change is ‘proof ‘ while at the same time label CAGW sceptics has ‘deniers ‘ of any ‘climate change ‘ which of course they are not but this mud does stick .
    It is the first part that is the point in this case , for ‘any’ increase/decreases of any weather factor is now ‘proof’ of their claims . So although it would seem clear that more snow undermines their cause , in some ways it actually supports their cause because its a ‘change ‘
    This is not an argument has has at its root a scientific basis , therefore you cannot win it by arguing on that basis.

    • Define win; the observations and models have diverged enough for the public to take notice. We like to challenge CAGW supporters to provide proof, links to peer reviewed papers, surveys, etc. If they do those things, attempt to provide proof, they go down the rabbit hole. At that point CAGW begins to unravel and they can choose between inquiry and oppression. The public at large is becoming wise to the fact that the projections have not matched the observations over longer durations. It makes the argument easier for us to win. We can shut down blind CAGW ism by saying things like, “actually no, our planets ice is not melting at a record pace, check your facts.” And this is all possible, considering how biased much of the “science” has become, because CAGW ism likes to exaggerate the hell out of their predictions. And their methods stink. The deeper you dive the more it looks like garbage. Politically there are some nations that feel they can gain by gaming the public, but their are considerable right wing political encumbrances to get over, and those barriers get stiffer and higher as the public take sides…this used to be a one horse race, no longer

  19. When Viner wrote those words the UK was at peak warmth, according to CET. Since then the CET shows dramatic cooling by around two thirds of a degree. The last couple of years has been a bit warmer.
    But, despite a very short-lived heat wave a month ago, with the infamous Heathrow 36.8 degrees record, it’s overall been a very cool summer. In July I had the heating on several times and most of the time I’ve been wearing a sweater. As I write I have my sweater on and my feet actually feel a bit cold.
    Just after the heatwave (was the record due to a 747 or an A380?) the Telegraph reported that “forecasters” were predicting a bigger heatwave for the end of July. Didn’t happen. What a surprise.
    And now the Met Office is forecasting very cold UK winters due to low solar activity.
    It must be great to be a climate scientist. You can spend a whole career being wrong – and yet it doesn’t actually harm your career….

  20. I think part of the problem is that people live more comfortable lives with heat and air conditioning such that they avoid a true experience of extremes. When fresh out of college I had to lay in a pool of sweat in summer in Idaho (job there) trying desperately to sleep, but not anymore. As a kid our car never got warm if it was really cold in Chicago, nor did the school buses. so we start thinking things should always be nice and comfy and assume constancy since our indoor environment is constant.

  21. Am wondering if the weather in northern Russia could set up Europe for a cold winter.
    Because for at least a month now there has been persistent low pressure over northern Russia. Which has been sending cold Arctic air down across NE Europe / NW Russia. Now should this pattern last going into the winter. Then it will be sending cold Arctic air to just the right place. For it to push across Europe,should a blocking high form over northern Europe this winter. l will be watching with interest.

  22. If children won’t know what snow is it will be the fault of the education system, not caGW.

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